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Sonoco's Sustainability Story


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Collaboration Leads to Circularity

Sustana, Kellogg’s and Sonoco are pulping up the volume by proving paper containers can be successfully processed in the paper stream. This means a decreased impact to landfill and a circular solution. Watch the video to learn more.
  • In one five-year period we received nearly two billion pounds of reels for recycling, saving end users more than $36 million in disposal costs. Even better, recycling all those reels saved more than 300,000 trees.

EcoReel® Recycling Program

Since 1991, Sonoco has been working with utility companies, contractors and distributors to collect old wire and cable reels and spools to be refurbished. The EcoReel® Program is the most comprehensive, cost-effective nailed wood and polyfiber reel recycling program in the industry.
Join the EcoReel Recycling Program
TransGuard® Returnable Dunnage

TransGuard® Returnable Dunnage

Protective Packaging You Can Reuse Again and Again

Strong and durable, TransGuard® returnable dunnage is designed to protect your most sensitive products, parts and components during transit. After your product is delivered, empty TransGuard packaging can be returned and refilled again and again. Every TransGuard package is fully recyclable at the end of its useful life.

In addition to providing superior protection, TransGuard delivers optimal packaging density, maximum truckload curbing and yield per container – saving as much as 50% on freight costs and reducing CO2 emissions.

Learn About TransGuard

TransGuard® is ideal for complex and sensitive components such as decorative trim parts, instrument panels, electronics, circuit boards, displays and more.

EOS® Temperature-Controlled Packaging

EOS® Temperature-Controlled Packaging

Expertly Insulated and Easily Recycled

Sonoco ThermoSafe® created the EOS® line of fully curbside recyclable temperature-controlled packaging, giving clients in the life sciences and perishable products industries a truly curbside recyclable system. The insulated shipper maintains a 2°C to 8°C range, and once your products are securely placed, the entire knock-down package can be put in an ordinary recycling bin.

EOS packaging is fully tested and certified to OCC-E standards and ISTA 7E. Made from 100% post-industrial, pre-consumer paper fiber, a feedstock that some of Sonoco’s consumer paper products naturally create, the EOS line is a promising vision of the circular economy inside Sonoco.

Cool Down with EOS

“Partnering with Sonoco means one supplier and endless innovation. Take our EOS® line of shippers, for example. Our expertise in multiple areas including paper manufacturing, thermal insulation and recycling management makes this product innovation possible.”

Jim Lassiter, Division Vice President Healthcare and Protective Packaging

S3 Sustainability Solutions

Sonoco Sustainability Solutions (S3) provides businesses of all types with customized waste reduction programs. They’re designed to decrease waste materials going to landfills, reduce environmental impacts, improve productivity and increase profitability by converting waste streams into revenue streams.

Today, some of the world's most successful manufacturers and retailers rely on S3 to create and implement sustainable business solutions in their facilities. 

Recycling truck
The Sonoco Recycling MRF in Raleigh, NC

Overcoming Under-Recycling

Sonoco Helps City Recycle Paper Containers with Steel Ends

Fewer than 15% of American households have access to material recovery facilities (MRFs) that will accept paperboard containers with metal ends for recycling. In addition, there’s a faulty belief that paperboard cans with metal ends contaminate bales. The lack of visibility and education around recyclability of this packaging format means it has historically been under recycled.

MRF Recycles Cans with Metal Ends in a Single Stream

Magnets capture the paperboard cans and they are baled. They then undergo the same recycling process as steel cans. The non-steel components in the paperboard can are consumed and recovered as energy during the steel recycling process.

Accepting paperboard cans in bales has not been considered contamination by their scrap buyers, and there is energy and reclamation value to recycling through the steel stream. For two decades, the Mecklenburg County facility has been taking advantage of this technology. 

Download the Success Story

Sonoco Expands Recycling of Paper Containers in the U.S.

Scrap materials from the production of our iconic EnviroCan™ paper containers in the U.S. will now be used as raw material at three of our uncoated paperboard mills to produce new paperboard. This expanded recovery and recycling of our paper containers means an estimated 165 truckloads of scrap will be recycled into paperboard at Sonoco mills every year.

"We are taking the lead to further demonstrate our ability to recycle our paper containers with metal ends not only through the steel stream, as they are largely done today, but also through the paper stream. We look forward to growing consumer access to increase recycling of our paper cans through post-consumer recycling streams," said Elizabeth Rhue, Staff Vice President of Sustainability.

Partner with Us

We know that when it comes to fiber, you want a recycling partner that provides:

  • High-quality, responsibly sourced material
  • A reliable, consistent supply to a rapidly expanding market
  • Responsive, nationwide service
  • Assessments of your current recycling practices and processes
  • Custom-built recycling programs and services that save resources and create opportunities

Sonoco Recycling

  • We collect 200,000 tons of curbside recyclables  in 150 cities across the Southeast.

Making a Local Impact

Near our company headquarters, we operate material recovery facilities in several cities.

Encouraging the Next Generation of Recyclers

Our material recovery facilities in Columbia, Jacksonville, Raleigh and Wilmington feature education centers designed to show how materials are recycled and share the benefits of recycling with local students and community groups.

Our Remarkable Recyclables video and characters teach kids the importance of recycling and how it works.

We also recognize South Carolina schools that develop well-established, model-quality projects that help conserve, protect or restore the school’s environment.

First SC National Green Ribbon Recipient

2019 Dutch Fork Elementary Academy of Environmental Sciences

Overall School of the Year

2020 Irmo High School

Conserve School of the Year

2020 Ocean Bay Middle School

Protect School of the Year

2020 Harmony Elementary School

Restore School of the Year

2020 Sneed Middle School

Sustainability Insights

Get Started on Your Solution

We think about the future of packaging and how it impacts our planet. We work every day to make better products.

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